Insourcing VS Outsourcing – how should you manage your business travel activity?

3 min read

Within any company, whether it’s a Small to Medium Sized Business, a non-profit organisation or PLC, it’s inevitable that your employees will need to travel for business purposes. In large organisations that spend millions of pounds per year on business travel, it’s standard practice to outsource the booking and management of business travel to a Travel Management Company (TMC) or Business Travel Agent. However, for those firms that spend smaller amounts on travel, there are many companies who still manage it in-house.

For those that manage business travel in-house, we typically see the responsibility for booking travel sitting with Personal Assistants, the admin department or the individual travellers themselves, often with little oversight. While this may not seem like a big deal (and for very small businesses it probably isn’t), once a company reaches a certain size, booking travel in this way becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of.

While physically making a simple business travel booking could be considered relatively easy (most of us book personal travel ourselves right?), it’s the extra things a TMC offers that enables a business to actually manage their spend.

For example, if a traveller books their flight direct with an airline, their hotel with an online hotel booking site and organises their own ground transport on arrival – how can their employer know the following?

1) The traveller’s location should there be an emergency situation

2) If the traveller is travelling to a high-risk destination

3) If the traveller booked the most cost effective option or missed any savings

4) If the traveller has booked options of an appropriate quality standard

And, if something does go wrong, how can they provide their employee with professional 24/7 support to manage whatever situation arises?

On top of all this, by using a TMC, a business travel expert is constantly monitoring and analysing your corporate travel spend to make sure it is optimised.

So should you Insource/Outsource?

Unless you can confidently manage the above points efficiently in house, then it’d be wise to consider outsourcing business travel to a TMC. And even if you have a pretty good handle on business travel, remember it can be much more costly to employ an individual to undertake these tasks in house rather than outsourcing to a TMC. Outsourcing can also help alleviate instances where employees are double or triple hatting within their roles by undertaking responsibilities of 2 or 3 other departments/service areas.